Cape Town - The
Brumbies will welcome nine new faces into the squad for the 2018 Super
Rugby season, including returning Wallaby back-rower David Pocock, as head
coach Dan McKellar prepares for his first season in charge of the
Pocock, who has 65 caps for Australia, will be back in Brumbies
colours following his year’s sabbatical and is part of a formidable
looking pack that includes eight Wallaby internationals.
Pocock could potentially be joined by fellow Wallabies Scott Sio,
Allan Alaalatoa, Ben Alexander, Josh Mann-Rea, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter
and Blake Enever with the strength in depth throughout the forwards
Three of the new signings are up front with the former-Force trio of
Mees Erasmus (prop), Richie Arnold (lock), and Isi Naisarani (No 8) joined by Lachlan McCaffrey (flank) who returns to the Brumbies
after a three-year absence playing in Europe.
Rookie hooker Folau Fainga’a joins fresh off an inclusion in the
Wallabies train-on squad during the Rugby Championship following
impressive form with Canberra Vikings in the National Rugby
Amongst the backs, the Brumbies faithful will no doubt be delighted
to see Christian Lealiifano return to full fitness and with some
much-needed playing time under his belt in the PRO14 for Ulster. The
pivot, who is two-points shy of 800 in his career for the Australian
Capital Territory-based club, could have a huge impact.
New faces in the back-line include scrumhalf Matt Lucas, an
off-season capture from the Waratahs who will push Wallaby youngster Joe
Powell for a starting berth, whilst outside backs Chance Peni and James
Verity-Amm join from the Force.
International stars Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin and Henry Speight
are included whilst the continuing emergence of talented speedsters Tom
Banks and Andrew Muirhead will be worth keeping an eye on.
There’s a plenty of youth amongst the squad with Tuggeranong Vikings
lock Darcy Swain and promising scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan aiming to push
their more established teammates for a place in the matchday squad.
In the coaching department, former assistant McKellar takes over from
Stephen Larkham as head coach. He is joined by Laurie Fisher as
forwards coach and Peter Hewat as backs coach while Peter Ryan
(defence) and Dan Palmer (scrum) continue their important roles within
The Brumbies pre-season fixtures kick-off on Saturday, February 3 with a clash against the Rebels at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.
Brumbies 2018 Super Rugby squad:
Robbie Abel, Allan Alaalatoa, Ben
Alexander, Richard Arnold, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Tom Cusack, Blake
Enever, Mees Erasmus, Folau Fainga’a, Lolo Fakaosilea, Ben Hyne, Leslie
Leulua’Iali’i-Makin, Josh Mann-Rea, Nic Mayhew, Lachlan McCaffrey,
Isireli Naisarani, David Pocock, Scott Sio, Darcy Swain, Rob Valetini
Tom Banks, James Dargaville, Kyle Godwin,
Wharenui Hawera, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian
Lealiifano, Ryan Lonergan, Matt Lucas, Andrew Muirhead, Chance
Peni-Ataera, Joe Powell, Andrew Smith, Henry Speight, Lausii Taliauli,